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Policy: Flights are capped at 65%, and middle seats are blocked. Spirit says it uses two EPA-registered “fogging” treatments to disinfect their aircraft. Another United executive, chief communications officer Josh Earnest, went so far Wednesday as to label seat blocking a marketing ploy. Change fees for First, Business, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets issued on or after August 3 for short-haul international flights have been eliminated. Mike is a former newspaper reporter who writes about personal finance in New York. This means that the government believes that aviation is essential to society and that the continuity of a flight operation is therefore a priority. Frontier cleans planes before each flight with EPA-approved cleaning solutions, according to their website. Ryanair may end having social distancing onboard since O’Leary expects July load factors to be 50-60%. Watch Video: Guide to get flights refunded when airlines cancel on you, View Gallery: Southwest, American, United, Delta, more airline face mask policies, drawing the wrath of health officials and politicians, committed to operating less full flights through Sept. 30, What it's really like to fly Southwest during the pandemic, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. You might very well show up to a packed waiting area, an equally full plane, and in a worst-case scenario, find yourself seated in the middle seat next to two individuals not wearing a face covering. Keep in mind that the policies vary by carrier, with some airlines blocking more seats than others and some social distancing policies set to expire soon unless extended. ), along with cockpits, galleys and other crew areas. CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. The policies won't be in place forever because financially devastated airlines say they can't afford to leave a bunch of seat opens as travel demand rebounds. They instead recommend a range of alternative measures. Masks with exhaust valves are not allowed, and those who refuse to wear an approved mask or face covering may be banned from flying the airline. This will rarely be the case on your travel day. The airline also distributes Personal Protection Packs, which includes hand sanitizer and two disinfectant wipes for customers to use on board. American Airlines, United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue Airways are rolling out pre-flight testing services which allow travelers to avoid the two-week isolation period required at some destinations. Check out their travel advisory page for more details.Do they have flights without middle seats? Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. JetBlue says it is sanitizing surfaces throughout airport terminals more frequently and implementing other measures to limit contact, such as encouraging customers to scan their own boarding passes. For now, several airlines, including JetBlue, Alaska and Frontier, are still limiting the number of passengers per flight. As states reopen across the country and Americans begin traveling again, it's important to know which precautions airlines are taking to keep passengers safe. If a flight exceeds 65% capacity, passengers can be notified about possible reaccomodation options. © 2020 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. See, firm requirements from the federal government, the airline allows passengers to wear face shields instead of a mask, see this post for a closer look at the airline’s current procedures, installing transparent plexiglass shields, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Blocking seats to encourage social distancing (dates vary by airline; see below for your carrier), Compulsory face coverings for passengers and/or crew. The airline you choose will almost certainly have an impact on the social distancing involved in your flight. [These airports are leading coronavirus testing for international travelers], Through Jan. 6, 2021, Alaska Airlines says it is “limiting the number of guests on our flights and blocking seats.” Gate agents may reassign groups or families to be seated together, although the airline notes that “there can be occasions where extra space cannot be guaranteed due to unforeseen changes such as re-accommodating guests from a previously canceled flight.”, Through Dec. 15, Hawaiian Airlines says it is “currently preventing the booking of middle seats on our aircraft to continue to provide more space for guests and flight attendants.” The airline says gate agents are responsible for reseating families and groups who want to use a middle seat to sit together, although “depending on load factors, seating may need to be adjusted at the gate to maximize spacing throughout the cabin and meet weight and balance restrictions.”. Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter for more airline news! Masks with exhaust valves are not allowed. Budget carrier Southwest has limited the number of seats sold on its flights since May, but this week the airline announced it will end the practice. All other seats are available to purchase, and agents may assign previously blocked seats based on passenger demand at the gate. The airline has reduced inflight service to limit onboard interaction, so customers are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks onboard. Until recently, JetBlue blocked all middle seats for purchase on its larger aircraft, and most aisle seats were “blocked for purchase" on smaller aircraft. American has also increased the frequency of cleaning areas it controls throughout the airport, including ticket counters, team member rooms and gates. Vertical airflow in the cabin limits the spread of air, unlike conventional air conditioners that blow air horizontally across many people. Southwest is maintaining its open seating policy. Delta is also not allowing passengers to select a middle seat online or its Fly Delta app and some aisle seats on its smaller aircraft with no middle seats. and United will only block the middle seat through May 31. All employees are required to wear face masks and all passengers age two and above are required to wear face coverings as well, at all Frontier areas within the airport and onboard all flights. Airlines giving free empty middle seats are already setting quick deadlines. Air Changan is only offering the eight extra seats on flights from its home base of Xi’an in central China. *Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. Policy: Seating is capped at 60% in the main cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select, and 50% in first class and domestic Delta One cabins. Most airlines cite the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s guidance that "does not recommend restricting the use of the ‘middle seat’ to create social distancing while onboard aircraft." American says it is thoroughly cleaning aircraft between flights, including using an EPA-approved disinfectant to clean common customer touchpoints (armrests, seat belts, tray tables, etc. In addition to regular cleaning, Allegiant is applying an antimicrobial protectant that, according to the airline, “kills viruses, germs and bacteria on contact for 14 days.” Disinfectant wipes are available upon request on all aircraft. The airline says it thoroughly cleans aircraft between flights using an EPA-approved disinfectant. Some of the procedures we’re seeing include: While it’s important to check with your airline as things can change by the day, here’s what you can expect when traveling on each U.S. carrier: *Southwest will maintain its open seating policy but will limit the number of seats sold on its flights until Dec. 1.

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